Son of the Godfather has his say

Son of the Godfather has his say
September 24
00:00 2014
(pictured above:  Daryl Brown signs a book for a local reader.)

The James Brown biopic “Get on Up” is a modest hit. Tens of thousands of people have seen it, helping the film gross slightly more than its $30 million budget. Daryl Brown, the son of The Godfather of Soul, has yet to buy a ticket and likely won’t even cough up a few bucks to rent it.

“For what?” he asked with a tinge of indignation. “What’s (the movie) gonna tell me that I don’t already know?”

news, brown bookThrough word of mouth, Brown has gleaned that the movie is rife with inaccuracies and ill conceived. He says he offers a much fuller picture of his father in his recently-released book, “My Father the Godfather.”

“He was human; he had his issues like everyone else,” said Brown, who spent several hours signing copies of his book and chatting with fans of his father’s at Special Occasions on Friday, Sept. 12.

Brown’s aversion to the movie notwithstanding, Barbara Terry, who published the book through her Waldorf Publishing, is capitalizing on the film. The coast-to-coast book tour that brought Brown and Terry to Winston-Salem was rushed to coincide with the film’s box office run.

“Interest has been high because of the film,” said Terry, who is also planning to release books by others in James Brown’s inner circle, including longtime business manager Larry Fridie.

Daryl Brown said he wrote the book (along with Michael P. Chabries) to give fans a real picture of his father, a man he says succumbed to many mortal pitfalls despite being deified by fans the world over.

Daryl Brown poses with Antoine Smith (left) and his two sons, Amari and Zion.

Daryl Brown poses with Antoine Smith (left) and his two sons, Amari and Zion.

“I talk about everything … the drugs, the drinking. I had a drug problem, myself, so bringing that to the table wasn’t an issue,” he said.

It is Brown’s theory that his father was murdered that is getting the most attention, though. James Brown died on Christmas Day in 2006. He had battled diabetes and prostate cancer in the years before he died, but congestive heart failure caused by pneumonia is listed as his official cause of death.

Daryl Brown has offered no evidence that his father died as a result of a homicide; his contention is based on his “gut feeling.”

James Brown was married three times and had numerous relationships that produced many children. He only acknowledged Daryl and eight others, including Dr. Yamma Noyola Brown Lumar, who has just released her own book about her father, “Cold Sweat.”

Daryl Brown says he is not close to any of his half-siblings, although many of them banned together to contest their father’s will.

“I was close with Teddy (who died in a car accident in 1973). That’s about it,” he said.

A musician in his own right, Brown toured the world with is dad, playing several instruments as a member of the band. The experience, he said, gives him a perspective unique among his father’s children.
“I was there. I saw things with my own eyes,” he said.

Brown’s nearly three-month long book tour is slated to end tomorrow in Elizabeth City. He is already preparing to release a CD of some of his father’s unreleased tracks and shopping his book for a possible film option.

Though he says he doesn’t give the film “Get on Up” much thought, it is vexing to him that many will walk out of a theater with an impression of his father created by what he considers a faulty product.
“There was so much to this man … You can’t just tell half of the story,” he said.

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T. Kevin Walker

T. Kevin Walker

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